SESTRI LEVANTE, Italy, May 11 (Reuters) - Italian Domenico Pozzovivo was carried away lying motionless on a stretcher after crashing in a descent during the third stage of the Giro d'Italia on Monday.
The AG2R-La Mondiale rider, one of the contenders for a podium finish, hit the ground head first with about 40 kilometres left in the 136-km ride between Rapallo and Sestri Levante.
The 32-year-old, fifth overall in last year's race, was put in an ambulance wearing a neck brace and wrapped in a survival blanket.
The accident brought back memories from the 2011 Giro during which Belgian Wouter Weylandt died after crashing during the third stage.
(Writing by Julien Pretot; Editing by XXXX)